Deming Park, located on the east side of Terre Haute, is the work of landscape architect George Kessler. He created this park and adjacent Ohio Boulevard as one component of a parks and boulevard system for Terre Haute. Unfortunately Deming Park was the only element that was ever constructed. The 155-acre park was created in 1919 in response to the urban conditions that existed at the time—busy, narrow streets, congested downtowns, and dense housing conditions. The open space, fresh air, and natural setting were much sought after for the health and recreational benefits such parks offered.
Kessler’s design called for the park to remain as natural as possible with curvilinear paths and native plants. Later when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) worked in Deming Park, they utilized natural materials to construct a variety of improvements. These included low fieldstone fencing at the east and west entrances, fish ponds, fieldstone lighthouse, stone drinking fountains, stone bridge, concrete seats, wood footbridge, and a pool with waterfalls. Other Deming Park amenities were children’s play park and train, pool, picnic shelters, horseshoe pits, tennis courts, and a large pavilion. The 1930s “comfort station” was converted into a park office and later a residence. Also in the 1930s there was a zoo at Deming Park. This remained on the grounds until 1976.